Mental & physical freshness will be key, says Delhi Capitals’ Head Talent Scout Vijay Dahiya

Delhi Capitals Support stafDubai: Having taken over as the Head Talent Scout of the Delhi Capitals last year, former Indian wicketkeeper batsman Vijay Dahiya believes his team’s focus lies on making sure that all the players peak at the right time and are able to maintain their rhythm and freshness throughout the season.

Speaking ahead of a nets session here at the ICC Academy on Saturday, Dahiya said, “I think it makes a huge difference when you have people in your coaching staff who have played the sport before. It generally helps them think like an athlete and also helps with the players getting to learn a lot from them, and getting that mentality also.”

Speaking on the challenging weather conditions in the UAE, the 47-year-old added, “How Ricky Ponting has planned the nets sessions is good, he’s focused on preparing the fast bowlers steadily and we have also brought in some net bowlers to make sure there isn’t much workload on our players going into the season in these tough conditions.”

Emphasising on maintaining both mental and physical fitness, Dahiya also added, “We’ve got optional nets sessions and have given freedom to players to slowly get back into rhythm, and that has resulted in the players doing well in training already. Our planning has been such that these players can stay in rhythm during and towards the end of the season as well – that is the most important thing that they are fresh both mentally and physically throughout the season.”

Talking about how he would like his team to start the season, Dahiya said the Delhi Capitals can take a cue from last season. “If you look at last year’s start, I think we will want to resume from there. We have a great balance in our squad, even though we didn’t know we will be playing in Dubai when we had bought the players, we seem to have a good team suited to these conditions,” said the former wicketkeeper.

Commenting on his team’s composition, Dahiya said he believes his team has the right balance. “The wickets here will start to become like the ones we have back home, and at Delhi Capitals, we have some amazing, experienced spinners. We also have good fast bowlers – Ishant Sharma performed exceptionally last year. The top order makes the team really exciting with the talent they have, and most importantly they are Indians, so we get that kind of freedom to pick our best 4 overseas players as well,” he said.

Asked if living in the bio-bubble and having the season under such circumstances has been a challenge, Dahiya is of the opinion that the players have gotten used to it. He said, “It has been a challenge and mostly mentally, but when you step onto the field, you forget about everything else. We try to find the positives out of everything – players have been at home for the past few months with these circumstances, so they are now prepared to live under such circumstances. And once the matches get underway, I don’t think these things will be playing in their minds,” he said.

“We’ve also got a lot of time to train here and never before has it been possible in the IPL that teams have got so much time to gather and prepare for a season. So we have a lot of positives also out of this situation,” added Dahiya.